Google has announced that as of, 2022, it will disable control over Less Secure Apps on free Gmail accounts. If your organization uses free Gmail accounts, some of the apps you’re using in connection with your email may no longer work. This change is part of a step-by-step shift to gradually increase Gmail security while minimizing disruptions to end-users.

WHAT ARE LESS SECURE APPS?

A Less Secure App (LSA) only requires a username and password to connect to your Google account, and does not use more modern security methods. Unfortunately, as cybercrime increased 500% during the pandemic, LSAs put your account, as well as all of its data, at significant risk.

HOW WILL THIS GMAIL CHANGE IMPACT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

If you have a free Gmail account and use a Scan to Email app on a Multi-Function Printer (MFP), you’ll notice that this function will no longer be available. Other examples of LSAs include ?Native mail, contacts and calendar sync apps on older versions of iOS and OSX?, and some older versions of Microsoft Outlook.

But there is good news: many popular apps do support modern security standards, like Windows Mail, Office 365, Outlook for Mac, Instagram, PayPal, Amazon, Facebook, and Basecamp.

DISADVANTAGES OF USING FREE GMAIL ACCOUNTS

Even if your organization is able to find a work-around for each and every LSA that will no longer function, it might be a better use of time to consider alternatives to free Gmail accounts. These accounts present a potential security and privacy risk to organizations for the following reasons:

  • You don’t have ownership of your communications or data
  • You can’t access dedicated email support
  • Gmail terms and service are subject to change at any time, including how data privacy and security are handled
  • You do not have complete control over transmission security, including end-to-end encryption
  • Usernames and passwords are not centrally managed and could be misused by former employees, contractors, and other insider threats
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